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v3.0.0 (2015-06-25):

Wow, it's finally here! This has been a long time coming. We are all delighted and proud to be getting this out into the world, and are looking forward to working with the npm user community to get it production-ready as quickly as possible.

npm@3 constitutes a nearly complete rewrite of npm's installer to be easier to maintain, and to bring a bunch of valuable new features and design improvements to you all.

@othiym23 and @isaacs have been talking about the changes in this release for well over a year, and it's been the primary focus of @iarna since she joined the team.

Given that this is a near-total rewrite, all changes listed here are @iarna's work unless otherwise specified.


THIS IS BETA SOFTWARE. npm@3 will remain in beta until we're confident that it's stable and have assessed the effect of the breaking changes on the community. During that time we will still be doing npm@2 releases, with npm@2 tagged as latest and next. We'll also be publishing new releases of npm@3 as npm@3.0-next and npm@3.0-latest alongside those versions until we're ready to switch everyone over to npm@3. We need your help to find and fix its remaining bugs. It's a significant rewrite, so we are sure there still significant bugs remaining. So do us a solid and deploy it in non-critical CI environments and for day-to-day use, but maybe don't use it for production maintenance or frontline continuous deployment just yet.



grunt, gulp, and broccoli plugin maintainers take note! You will be affected by this change!

  • #6930 (#6565) peerDependencies no longer cause anything to be implicitly installed. Instead, npm will now warn if a packages peerDependencies are missing, but it's up to the consumer of the module (i.e. you) to ensure the peers get installed / are included in package.json as direct dependencies or devDependencies of your package.
  • #3803 npm also no longer checks peerDependencies until after it has fully resolved the tree.

This shifts the responsibility for fulfilling peer dependencies from library framework / plugin maintainers to application authors, and is intended to get users out of the dependency hell caused by conflicting peerDependency constraints. npm's job is to keep you out of dependency hell, not put you in it.

  • #6931 The rarely-used package.json option engineStrict has been deprecated for several months, producing warnings when it was used. Starting with npm@3, the value of the field is ignored, and engine violations will only produce warnings. If you, as a user, want strict engines field enforcement, just run npm config set engine-strict true.

As with the peer dependencies change, this is about shifting control from module authors to application authors. It turns out engineStrict was very difficult to understand even harder to use correctly, and more often than not just made modules using it difficult to deploy.

npm view
  • 77f1aec With npm view (aka npm info), always return arrays for versions, maintainers, etc. Previously npm would return a plain value if there was only one, and multiple values if there were more. (@KenanY)


Again, this is a BETA RELEASE, so not everything is working just yet. Here are the issues that we already know about. If you run into something that isn't on this list, let us know!

  • #8575 Circular deps will never be removed by the prune-on-uninstall code.
  • #8588 Local deps where the dep name and the name in the package.json differ don't result in an error.
  • #8637 Modules can install themselves as direct dependencies. npm@2 declined to do this.
  • #8660 Dependencies of failed optional dependencies aren't rolled back when the optional dependency is, and then are reported as extraneous thereafter.


The multi-stage installer!
  • #5919 Previously the installer had a set of steps it executed for each package and it would immediately start executing them as soon as it decided to act on a package.

    But now it executes each of those steps at the same time for all packages, waiting for all of one stage to complete before moving on. This eliminates many race conditions and makes the code easier to reason about.

This fixes, for instance:

  • #6926 (#5001, #6170) install and postinstall lifecycle scripts now only execute after all the module with the script's dependencies are installed.
Install: it looks different!

You'll now get a tree much like the one produced by npm ls that highlights in orange the packages that were installed. Similarly, any removed packages will have their names prefixed by a -.

Also, npm outdated used to include the name of the module in the Location field:

Package                Current  Wanted  Latest  Location
deep-equal             MISSING   1.0.0   1.0.0  deep-equal
glob                     4.5.3   4.5.3  5.0.10  rimraf > glob

Now it shows the module that required it as the final point in the Location field:

Package                Current  Wanted  Latest  Location
deep-equal             MISSING   1.0.0   1.0.0  npm
glob                     4.5.3   4.5.3  5.0.10  npm > rimraf

Previously the Location field was telling you where the module was on disk. Now it tells you what requires the module. When more than one thing requires the module you'll see it listed once for each thing requiring it.

Install: it works different!
  • #6928 (#2931 #2950) npm install when you have an npm-shrinkwrap.json will ensure you have the modules specified in it are installed in exactly the shape specified no matter what you had when you started.
  • #6913 (#1341 #3124 #4956 #6349 #5465) npm install when some of your dependencies are missing sub-dependencies will result in those sub-dependencies being installed. That is, npm install now knows how to fix broken installs, most of the time.
  • #5465 If you directly npm install a module that's already a subdep of something else and your new version is incompatible, it will now install the previous version nested in the things that need it.
  • a2b50cf #5693 When installing a new module, if it's mentioned in your npm-shrinkwrap.json or your package.json use the version specifier from there if you didn't specify one yourself.
Flat, flat, flat!

Your dependencies will now be installed maximally flat. Insofar as is possible, all of your dependencies, and their dependencies, and THEIR dependencies will be installed in your project's node_modules folder with no nesting. You'll only see modules nested underneath one another when two (or more) modules have conflicting dependencies.

  • #3697 This will hopefully eliminate most cases where windows users ended up with paths that were too long for Explorer and other standard tools to deal with.
  • #6912 (#4761 #4037) This also means that your installs will be deduped from the start.
  • #5827 This deduping even extends to git deps.
  • #6936 (#5698) Various commands are dedupe aware now.

This has some implications for the behavior of other commands:

  • npm uninstall removes any dependencies of the module that you specified that aren't required by any other module. Previously, it would only remove those that happened to be installed under it, resulting in left over cruft if you'd ever deduped.
  • npm ls now shows you your dependency tree organized around what requires what, rather than where those modules are on disk.
  • #6937 npm dedupe now flattens the tree in addition to deduping.

And bundling of dependencies when packing or publishing changes too:

  • #2442 bundledDependencies no longer requires that you specify deduped sub deps. npm can now see that a dependency is required by something bundled and automaticlaly include it. To put that another way, bundledDependencies should ONLY include things that you included in dependencies, optionalDependencies or devDependencies.
  • #5437 When bundling a dependency that's both a devDependency and the child of a regular dependency, npm bundles the child depdency.

As a demonstration of our confidence in our own work, npm's own dependencies are now flattened, deduped, and bundled in the npm@3 style. This means that npm@3 can't be packed or published by npm@2, which is something to be aware of if you're hacking on npm.

Shrinkwraps: they are a-changin'!

First of all, they should be idempotent now (#5779). No more differences because the first time you install (without npm-shrinkwrap.json) and the second time (with npm-shrinkwrap.json).

  • #6781 Second, if you save your changes to package.json and you have npm-shrinkwrap.json, then it will be updated as well. This applies to all of the commands that update your tree:
    • npm install --save
    • npm update --save
    • npm dedupe --save (#6410)
    • npm uninstall --save
  • #4944 (#5161 #5448) Third, because node_modules folders are now deduped and flat, shrinkwrap has to also be smart enough to handle this.

And finally, enjoy this shrinkwrap bug fix:

  • #3675 When shrinkwrapping a dependency that's both a devDependency and the child of a regular dependency, npm now correctly includes the child.
The Age of Progress (Bars)!
  • #6911 (#1257 #5340 #6420) The spinner is gone (yay? boo? will you miss it?), and in its place npm has progress bars, so you actually have some sense of how long installs will take. It's provided in Unicode and non-Unicode variants, and Unicode support is automatically detected from your environment.


The bottom is where we usually hide the less interesting bits of each release, but each of these are small but incredibly useful bits of this release, and very much worth checking out:

  • 9ebe312 Build system maintainers, rejoice: npm does a better job of cleaning up after itself in your temporary folder.
  • #6942 Check for permissions issues prior to actually trying to install anything.
  • Emit warnings at the end of the installation when possible, so that they'll be on your screen when npm stops.
  • #3505 npm --dry-run: You can now ask that npm only report what it would have done with the new --dry-run flag. This can be passed to any of the commands that change your node_modules folder: install, uninstall, update and dedupe.
  • 81b46fb npm now knows the correct URLs for npm bugs and npm repo for repositories hosted on Bitbucket and GitLab, just like it does for GitHub (and GitHub support now extends to projects hosted as gists as well as traditional repositories).
  • 5be4008a npm has been cleaned up to pass the standard style checker. Forrest and Rebecca both feel this makes it easier to read and understand the code, and should also make it easier for new contributors to put together merge-ready patches. (@othiym23)


  • 6401643 Make sure the global install directory exists before installing to it. (@thefourtheye)
  • #6158 When we remove modules we do so inside-out running unbuild for each one.
  • 960a765 The short usage information for each subcommand has been brought in sync with the documentation. (@smikes)